Posted October 22nd, 2013. Filed under Uncategorized

This will be my last post on Value Uncovered for the foreseeable future, but this decision is for a good reason. As of August 1st, I am the newest member of the investment team at Yacktman Asset Management, a $28 billion firm known for its value-oriented mutual funds (YAFFX / YACKX). I have followed the firm’s track record for many years, and count myself lucky to be associated with such a successful group. It’s still hard to believe that I get to do what I love full-time, and I am very excited for this new chapter.

While the rules and regulations in the industry may not easily lend themselves to an online blog, I hope to keep the historical posts on Value Uncovered available as a sort of post-mortem on my journey as an investor.

After 100+ posts over the last several years, here are a few final reflections:

  • Even though my belief in value investing never wavered, my approach to investing has improved dramatically over the last 5+ years. Investing requires continuous learning, even though the underlying concepts (buy-low-sell-high, margin of safety, etc.) never change.
  • Investment write-ups were critical to my development, even though I cringe at some of the initial posts (What was I thinking?!). Narrowing down hundreds of pages of research into several concise bullet points forces clarity of thought. Committing to the reasons behind an investment also mitigates the potential for ‘thesis creep,’ while also serving as a time machine for analyzing past investment mistakes.
  • Business school was worth it, but not from the perspective of ‘learning how to invest.’ School focuses on academic finance (CAPM, efficient frontier, Black-Scholes) and while these concepts are nice to understand, they do not help much in analyzing businesses or picking stocks. The relationships and networking opportunities were far more valuable, as was the built-in pathway – via stock pitch competitions and a summer internship – to gaining real-world investing experience.
  • I’ve talked to many current and potential students who are interested in a similar career transition. My advice? The investing industry is ultra-competitive – everyone reads the Wall Street Journal and has an opinion on Apple. Passion for investing cannot be faked. Be different. Think originally.
  • While I now have access to fancy tools and sell-side research, nothing compares to reading annual reports and thinking about business models. Primary source material is essential to the investment process.
  • There is an incredible online community of investors around the world who are doing outstanding and thoughtful work. It is a valuable resource, and they have contributed heavily to my evolution as an investor – cheers to all of you!

If you would like to stay in touch, feel free to email me and I’ll pass along my updated contact information.

Finally, the Yacktman team discovered my work via Value Uncovered, and the website proved to be a far superior resume than any traditional paper copy. Although it’s too early to be sure, I think the decision to write here could end up as the best investment of my career.

Reviewing the Top Posts for Q1 2011

Posted April 10th, 2011. Filed under Uncategorized

Back in January, I reviewed the top 10 posts of 2010 as a way to look back on the most popular posts by page views.

Traffic is up since then, so I wanted to highlight a similar theme through the first quarter of the year.

1. A Journey Through the Pink Sheets – 3,698 Stocks Later

No surprise here, as my pink sheets diligence project was the most popular post in the past three months, a status confirmed by the number of comments and emails I received as well.

The project yielded a bunch of interesting names, but many are tiny and extremely illiquid.

I’ve been working to build new positions in several stocks over the past few months and hope to showcase some detailed analysis in the coming weeks.

2. Stock Research: 10-Year Historical Financial Statements

An experiment with Quora, the hot-new Q/A site, I discussed a few valuable resources for 10-year historical financial statements.

Lately, I’m putting more and more emphasis on the company’s long-term cash flow generation over an entire business cycle, so having an accurate source for long-term information is extremely helpful.

Much of this information can be pulled using a combination of OSV spreadsheets (note: affiliate link) and the SMF excel plug-in, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time manually gathering this information for the pink sheet stocks.

3. Evolution of My Value Investment Philosophy

I’m grouping this 2-part series together, as they were #3 and #4 on the list by page views.

A bit outside of my normal posts on the site, this series walked through the evolution of my value investment philosophy and how it had changed over the past several years.

I could probably write an update to this timeline every few months, as I’m continually learning – I try to incorporate bits and pieces of new investment wisdom when appropriate, but my core philosophy is likely stable.

As Warren Buffett said, value investing is something that fundamentally appeals to you – or it doesn’t.


I was surprised to see that the most popular posts for the quarter were all outside of the traditional ‘stock analysis’ type of articles.

I have been writing about many of the same stocks over the past several quarters. By nature, value investing can be boring, as I hope to hold my positions for a long time.

This patience doesn’t always translate well into the blogging medium, but I hope to provide some fresh new stocks and analysis over the coming weeks / months.

Stay tuned.